Minnesota Timberwolves

Canada's Andrew Wiggins is still only scratching the surface of his potential

andrew-wiggins-072418-ftr-getty.jpg
Andrew Wiggins (NBA Getty Images)

When looking at Andrew Wiggins' stats from last season, you'll notice a dip in points per game, assists and shooting percentage across the board.

And while Wiggins admitted that it wasn't his best season, it certainly shouldn't be considered a bad one.

Wiggins showed more defensively than he ever has during his three-year career, and averaged a career-high 1.1 steals per game. Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau eluded to Wiggins' defensive improvement throughout the season and again at the end.

Among players impacted by the team trading for All-Star Jimmy Butler, Wiggins was probably at the top of the list. Wiggins had to adapt to a new role and it took him a little while to adjust to that. Wiggins was taking 3.2 less shots per game in 2017-18 than he did the previous season. And even by the end of the season, I don't know if he was fully comfortable. Which is expected. Teams take a while to form and the Wolves had so many new faces.

Wiggins had plenty of moments throughout the season, though. His 40-point game in a road win against the Los Angeles Clippers. The half-court, game-winning shot over the Oklahoma City Thunder. In all, Wiggins scored 20 or more points 34 times on the season. Through the first three games in the first round of the playoffs, Wiggins was the team's best player. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the team's Game 3 win over the Houston Rockets.

The wild thing when looking at Wiggins' future is his age. He's only 23, which seems impossible considering everything he's accomplished so far as an NBA player. For example, when Butler was 23, he was averaging 8.6 points per game for the Chicago Bulls.

Keep up to date with all of the latest :tag: news!
Sure Not Now

This offseason will be a big one for Wiggins. Ball handling will be huge for him and will enable him to get to the basket more. When he is on his way to the rim, he's tough to stop, but he'll need better ball handling if he wants to get there more efficiently. He averaged 6.6 free throws per game in 2016-17 and just 3.8 per game in 2018-19. That's a result of Wiggins not getting to the basket as much, which has a little to do with the team's spacing as well.

The biggest thing for Wiggins in 2018-19 will be his shooting. He dipped to 43.8 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from deep and 64.3 percent from the free throw line. If we want to see Wiggins take his game to the next level, that will be key. Wiggins might never be a dead-eye shooter from deep, but if he could creep up to 37-38 percent from the 3-point line, that would help his game vastly.

Wiggins is going to continue to get better because that's what young players do. He's probably still two to three years away from even hitting his prime.

The potential hasn't gone anywhere for Wiggins. The hope is he'll scratch more of it in 2018-19.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

lebron-james-media-day-092418-ftr-getty
The best of 2018 Media Days
Gilbert McGregor
kawhi-masai-danny-ftr-screencap-play
WATCH: 2018 Raptors media day interviews
NBA.com Staff
Victor Oladipo NBA Indiana Pacers
Who is this year's Victor Oladipo?
Matthew Blum
tyreke-evans-092418-media-day-ftr-getty
Blogtable: Evans among best under-the-radar moves this offseason
NBA.com Staff
myles-turner-victor-oladipo-092418-ftr-getty
30 teams in 30 days: Indiana Pacers
Gilbert McGregor
kawhi-leonard-091818-ftr-getty.jpg
What if Kawhi is more like the player he was last season?
Scott Rafferty
More News